Dylan O’Brien Teaches FANDOM His Most Badass ‘American Assassin’ Moves

Kim Taylor-Foster

Dylan O’Brien is best known for playing Stiles in long-running series Teen Wolf. But as the successful series comes to an end, and he puts the third Maze Runner film to bed, he’s making the transition to grown-up screen star proper. Starting with a role as an assassin with a mega-grudge in violent action flick American Assassin.

In the film, he trains himself up to pursue the terrorist responsible for the death of his fiancée and impresses the authorities with his mad espionage, tenacity, and fighting skills.

When he’s rescued from a situation that’s spiraled out of control, the CIA recruits him into the fold. He’s sent to train with Cold War veteran and elite black ops instructor Stan Hurley. The two end up working together on a counterterrorism mission to uncover and put a stop to a deadly bomb plot.

And it’s at this point that he puts his newfound skills to use. With some trepidation, FANDOM asked Dylan O’Brien to demonstrate his most deadly moves, using us as his opponent. He obliged.

The moves he pulled out on us? Take note:

The Right Cross

American Assassin-Right Cross
Stan shows Mitch how it's done, using CIA recruit Victor as target practice.

A fairly basic but super-useful move. It involves Dylan punching to the face using his right fist. This sends his opponent’s head flying to the left.

The Arm Bar Gone Too Far

American Assassin-Arm Bar
The moment Mitch uses the arm bar move.

Dylan explains this lethal move: “When you arm bar someone — it’s a jiu-jitsu move where you essentially lock the arm out with either your legs or your arms or however you can get it. But Mitch obviously takes it the extra mile and, you know, pops it, and also uses the bone to stab him in the neck.”

Dylan’s character pulls this one on a bad guy in an apartment he breaks into.

The Throat Stab Dodge

American Assassin–Throat Stab Dodge 2
Mitch learns this useful technique from mentor Stan.

This is a move we see Michael Keaton’s Stan Hurley demonstrating on Dylan’s character Mitch during a training session. It’s a move Mitch brings into play at the end of the film. The technique involves flipping an assailant armed with a knife so that they’re overpowered and on the ground, allowing you to pierce their throat with said weapon.

“Come at me with a knife in your right hand,” says Dylan as he in turn demonstrates the move. “I would grab your hand like this and then it was an elbow to the face and then he flips me over. Hip toss from there.”

Watch Dylan walk us through each move in the video above.

American Assassin hits U.K. screens on September 14 and U.S. screens on September 15.

Kim Taylor-Foster
Kim Taylor-Foster is Entertainment Editor for Fandom in the UK. She was raised on an unsteady diet of video nasties and violent action flicks.